I have the amazing good fortune to be able to volunteer in a second grade classroom at our neighborhood elementary school. I spend 30 minutes with individual students, helping them with reading and/or math, then 30 minutes with the entire class guiding them through an enrichment activity. Today was my first day with the kids, and already I had a “smile-worthy” event occur.
I was helping a boy with his morning math work. Together we read through the problem, and wrote down numbers; and then we practiced counting from 1-20 – which he did incredibly well. Then we practiced counting by twos (2, 4, 6, 8…); which he struggled with. So I had him listen to me a few times, then us do it together a few times. He was hesitant, but by the third round was doing it pretty well. We then switched to counting by fives; and again, he struggled. So again, I went through the series (“five” to “forty”), and then had him say the run with me. After our second time together, he tentatively asked me, “Can I do it once by myself?” I responded, “Sure!” and gave him a wide smile and an enthusiastic head nod.
Apparently that was all the encouragement he needed; he started off a little slowly, then gained speed, and then verbally raced past 40, dashing all the way to 100. (Apparently he got the pattern by that point.) When he was finished, he looked at me, and smiled wide.
And of course, I beamed back at him. Way to go, kiddo.
Bonus: These songs still make me groove in my seat. A double-smile today.